Feb
16
2014

Thomas Frank still can’t quit Kansas (the reverse is apparently not true).

Not much to say about, except that Thomas Frank apparently wonders now why the hell he bothered to write What’s The Matter With Kansas?* – and my but he is bitter about it. What makes it kind of entertaining, in an admittedly not-nice way, is that he almost gets the real problem:

For the ruling faction of the Democratic party, meanwhile, I felt like the Kansas story triggered a bout of guilty conscience. To begin with, there was something true at the core of all the conservative bullshit: we really are ruled by a meritocratic, professional elite — just look at the members of the president’s cabinet, or who gets interviewed on NPR — and a great number of meritocratic believers really are found in the ranks of the Democrats. As a party, they are openly in love with expertise; it is who they are; it means more to them than any ideology. It’s the awful story of “The Best and the Brightest” repeating itself over and over and over again.

…so close.  So, so close: but I suppose that Salon wouldn’t have bought an article that followed up that thought with So perhaps the Right is correct in the rest of its critiques and world-views.  See, that’s what’s the ‘matter’ with Kansas.  Voters there became increasingly aware that the people running the Democratic party now aren’t the ones who were running the party back in the day; and that the major difference was that the people running the Democratic party back in the day were competent. Today, they just worship technocracy.  The difference is subtle, yet important.

But what do I know?  I’m just this guy with a liberal arts degree from a state school** in New Jersey: Thomas Frank has a PhD from the University of Chicago.  Clearly he’s better positioned to lecture people on populism than I am…

Via RCP.

Moe Lane

*You can tell how meaningful the book is from my disinclination to construct an Amazon.com link to it.  Why bother? Nobody would click on it anyway.

**Trenton State College.  And no, I’m never going to call it by – that other name.

6 Comments

  • AndaO says:

    I just happened to read the article right before I checked in here to see if anything new and entertaining/exciting had been posted. Have to confess that I really couldn’t read all the way through the Frank article– just skimmed it — because he is so wrong about so much. It makes me want to shout into the computer monitor much the same way some in my family shout at the tv during sporting events. And, yes, he is bitter.

  • midwestconservative says:

    Voters in Kansas realized the Democrat Party was a bunch of BS back in the 30s, and made KS a one party state in which Liberals and Conservatives fought *within* the GOP. It wasn’t until recently though that Voters figured out that the Moderate to Liberal Wing of the GOP was shoveling the same BS as the Donks were, and began voting accordingly.

  • LiberExMachina says:

    You kinda missed an opportunity there, Moe. I actually clicked the Amazon link ’cause you said I wouldn’t. Should of linked to something Kansas or random (3 Wolf Moon T-Shirt?).

  • […] Thomas Frank has finally figured out at least part of what’s the matter with Kansas: Democrats.  Via Ace of […]

  • rosignol says:

    the major difference was that the people running the Democratic party back in the day were competent.

    Do we have different definitions of ‘back in the day’ or are you giving them a pass for the Great Society/War on Poverty and the Vietnam War?

    Alternate theory: they’ve always sucked. The main change is that the internet has made it a lot harder for the gatekeepers to keep the bad news reaching the plebs.

  • rosignol says:

    Thinking farther back, the conception and execution of the New Deal was kind of an epic cluster, too.

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